For the first time in 11 years, the small but perfectly formed Nik Kershaw and his fabulous band embark on a small but perfectly formed tour of the UK, which comes to Frome's Cheese and Grain on the 4th October.
No Glitz – There will be a distinct lack of dance moves, lasers, pyrotechnics, Jazz hands or anything remotely to do with “showbusiness”. Very little sartorial effort will be made (minimal sequins or spandex). Expect a great band, playing great songs, up close and in your face. It might get sweaty.
It’s great to hear you are back on the road for the first time in 11 years, coming to the Cheese and Grain on Oct 4th. Why have you chosen now to tour?
I’ve played many festivals and one off gigs over the years but haven’t done my own headline shows in the UK since 2012. Now seemed as good a time as any to see if there was anyone still out there (luckily for me, ticket sales would suggest there is).
The tour is entitled ’No Glitz’, so is the show totally stripped back?
It’s more a reference to the fact that there’s no smoke and mirrors on this tour. Just a great band on stage with no massive production to hide behind. These are smallish venues so everyone is up close and personal.
Can we expect to hear all the big hits?
There was a time when the old hits felt like a monkey on my back but I’ve grown to understand how good they’ve been to me. They form little stepping stones through out a show. Safe places, if you like. They allow me to take risks in between. So, short answer, yes. Expect the big hits.
Is it true that Elton John called you 'the best songwriter of his generation’?
He certainly said something like that and was a great champion for me early on. I’m not sure where that specific quote came from but I was recently remixing an Old Grey Whistle Test New Year’s eve concert from 1984 and Richard Skinner walks on stage and introduces me as someone who Elton John described as “The most significant singer songwriter to emerge from this country in a decade”.
When you have a back catalogue like yours, how easy/hard is it to pick a set list?
The hits pick themselves, obviously. Other than that, it’s mostly about the songs that I enjoy playing and that work well live.
"Richard Skinner walks on stage and introduces me as someone who Elton John described as “The most significant singer songwriter to emerge from this country in a decade”
What about new music, have you been in the studio recording recently?
I've recently been recording some “songs from the shelf’, songs that I wrote during the 90s when I wasn’t performing, just writing and producing for others. Parts 1 and 2 are already out there and I may revisit some more in the future but I really have to get on with the next album. There was 8 years between the last two so I don’t want to leave it too long next time.
Are there any bands you are listening to at the moment, and do these give you inspiration when writing?
I love The 1975. I think Matt Healy is a huge talent. He clearly has a lot of self belief which borders on arrogance, getting him into trouble at times but these are great attributes to have when writing songs and making records. I remember when I was like that and could certainly do with some of that creative energy now.
What do you think it is about the music and artists from the 80’s that has so much longevity?
I often get asked this question and have so far failed to come up with a satisfactory answer. Suffice to say, I’m very glad this is the case.